The primary episode of Season Two, which facilities across the large Wells Fargo fraud scandal, is an ideal instance of the kind of explainer-y journalism Soiled Cash does so effectively. For individuals who comply with monetary information, flipping open the Wall Avenue Journal each morning or tuning into CNBC on the health club, the drama surrounding CEO John Stumpf is a extensively recognized story, and the Soiled Cash episode, directed by filmmaker Dan Krauss, makes ample use of obtainable cable TV footage. We see Stumpf chatting it up with Jim Cramer throughout laudatory interviews on Mad Cash and numerous speaking heads praising the financial institution for its folksy attraction, its humble stagecoach origin story, and its relative sturdiness in the course of the 2008 monetary disaster. Then the precise staff on the firm start to inform their tales, describing a tradition of fixed stress and predatory enterprise practices.
Why is it calming? Like Gibney’s 2005 Enron documentary, which I’ve a maybe unhealthy obsession with, or his entertaining adaptation of Lawrence Writght’s nonfiction e-book about Scientology, Going Clear, Soiled Cash makes sophisticated real-life narratives really feel like one thing you’ll be able to wrap your head round. They ship a maybe illusionary jolt of authority. Once more, podcasts usually supply the same transaction: Give us an hour of your time and we’ll make you an professional.
For those who watch sufficient episodes of Soiled Cash, it is simple to come back to the conclusion that capitalism is damaged in some profound means. On the identical time, the sequence solely often grapples with whether or not the horrible exploitation it portrays is an inevitable outcome of the present circumstances of the worldwide financial system; the graceful aesthetics of the present, the useful animation and the lighting of the interviews, assist promote an concept of competence. It is not an particularly hopeful present, however the heroes of Soiled Cash are likely to imagine within the guiding energy of regulation and the rule of legislation. The cash is not the issue, you see — it is the filth.